While Mozilla’s open source email client Thunderbird is often overshadowed by the company’s more popular web browser, Firefox, it doesn’t mean it’s being neglected, and it looks like Mozilla has big plans in store for Thunderbird in 2019.
In a recent blog post, Mozilla has revealed what Thunderbird users can look forward to this year. It starts by restating its commitment to the software by hiring new staff for the Thunderbird team, with potentially 14 new full-time roles.
These new hires will concentrate on updating and improving Thunderbird’s code, with Mozilla aiming to make big gains when it comes to Thunderbird’s general speed, as well as fixing performance issues of the software.
According to the blog, “[Mozilla] will be looking into leveraging new, faster technologies in rewriting parts of Thunderbird as well as working toward a multi-process Thunderbird.”
Better Gmail support
Another key area Mozilla wants to improve in 2019 is Gmail support in Thunderbird. Gmail is one of the largest email services in the world, so it makes sense for Mozilla to make sure that its email client is fully compatible. This will include adding Gmail label support, as well as other Gmail-specific features into Thunderbird.
The way Thunderbird handles and displays notifications will be improved as well, with better integration with various operating system’s built-in notification systems. According to Mozilla, “By working on this feature Thunderbird will feel more 'native' on each desktop and will make managing notifications from the app easier.”
Mozilla also plans to update the user interface (UI) of Thunderbird based on user feedback, so we will see a nicer looking, and easier to use, Thunderbird in 2019.
One of the UI improvements will be in relation to encryption and security, with Thunderbird making it easier to encrypt and send emails to ensure your private communication remains private.
Mozilla goes into more depth about these new features (and others) in its post to the Thunderbird mailing list, and we’re pleased to see that Mozilla is continuing to update and evolve Thunderbird in 2019, despite it being rather more niche than Firefox.
- Check out our list of the best free email clients of 2019
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.